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October 17, 2007

Another good Japan article for newbies 

If you are new to Japanese language studies and eagerly devouring everything you can find about things Japanese, here is another article to feed your gluttony, from The University of Maryland’s Retriever Weekly

Japanese has its own language family, distinct from those of many other Asian countries. It comprises languages spoken on mainland Japan and those on many of its southern islands, like Okinawa.  

To make matters more confusing, Japan uses three alphabets. Three alphabets! The distinctly Japanese alphabets are katakana and hiragana, syllabaries which are used to write out Japanese words in a piecemeal fashion similar to Western writing. The two alphabets represent the exact same sounds, except that the hiragana are used for native words and the katakana are used for foreign words. (continue…)


October 16, 2007

Another good word for you to ponder....



(おもしろ はんぶん に)

Definition: half in fun; partly in jest


Related words: 

面白おかしい (おもしろおかしい)   funny; amusing

面白がる (おもしろがる) to amuse oneself

面白い (おもしろい) interesting; entertaining


Usage Examples: 

 面白半分に仕事をする (おもしろ はんぶん に しごと を する)to work for the fun of it; to work for the enjoyment one gets from it

面白半分に詩を書く (おもしろはんぶん に し を かく) to write poetry for the fun of it





October 15, 2007

 A word of the day of sorts. I will be posting some more tutorials here in addition to the usual blog content....


(じんもん する)

Definition: to interrogate; to question


Related words:


  • 詰問する (きつもん する) to cross examine; to interrogate
  • 質問する (しつもん する)  to put a question to a person


Usage Examples:


  • 容疑者を尋問する (ようぎしゃ を じんもん する) to interrogate a suspect
  • 証人を尋問する (しょうにん を じんもん する) to question a witness
  • 捕虜を尋問する (ほりょ を じんもん する)to interrogate a prisoner



Original Japanese Source: http://www.afpbb.com/article/politics/2258259/1850832


Notes: 出演する(しゅつえん する) テロ容疑者(テロ ようぎしゃ)取り扱い(とりあつかい) 拷問(ごうもん) 無数の(むすう の) 人命(じんめい) に繋がった(つながった)connected to / tied to 米国家情報長官(べい こっか じょうほう ちょうかん)Director of National Intelligence of the United States

October 14, 2007

Language courses for the i-Pod

A commentary over at EdwardTrimnell.com about some new trends in self-study language materials...


October 13, 2007

Do you know these kanji?


Here is a test for those of you who think that you have mastered all the kanji:


鴎  鷲 

The characters are 鴎(かもめ)= seagull and 鷲(わし)= eagle.  

There are many kanji that represent specific plants and animals. Most of these characters fall outside the 1,945 常用漢字 that you have to learn for standard Japanese courses.  

The solution is to acquire a kanji dictionary that goes beyond the常用漢字. One of my favorites is The Learner’s Kanji Dictionary by Mark Spahn and Wolfgang Hadamitzky. (They are the authors of the smaller Kanji & Kana: A Handbook of the Japanese Writing System. )